Vegan Welsh Rabbit – Vegan Welsh Rarebit

The first time I ever had Welsh Rarebit was in London at one of the restaurants in Fortnum and  Mason.  Obviously, I was not yet vegan.  My mother wanted to see the Crown Jewels, and I wanted to go to Fortnum and Mason.  We did both, and after lunch, we browsed through Hatchards Books, right next door–it was heaven.  Back to Welsh Rabbit;  the good news is that vegans can still have it, and it’s delicious.  My old Amy Vanderbilt cookbook (1961) lists this dish as Daisyfields Welsh Rabbit, under the section entitled “Use Your Chafing Dish.”  It calls for processed American cheese and a 12 oz. can of V-8.  No doubt, any Brits reading this are shuddering now.  I also recall that Fortnum and Mason served their Welsh Rarebit with a big slice of broiled tomato.  My old Joy of Cooking has at least four versions of rarebit; one calling for grilled tomatoes, and another, entitled  Tomato Rarebit or Woodchuck, calling for some sauteed onions, and a cup of condensed tomato soup being added to the melting cheese.  The most common denominators are a bit of cayenne and some type of mustard.  Thinning liquids include water, soup, milk (ugh) and any type of beer. I’m guessing we could substitute soy milk for the beer, but I haven’t tried it yet.  Please let me know if you do.  Either way, serving with tomato soup on the side is favored by many.  One last note is that I personally can’t think of any other vegan cheese (besides Daiya brand) that would really taste good here, but I could be wrong.
Vegan Welsh Rarebit  or  Vegan Welsh Rabbit

Serves 3 to 4

3/4 Cup beer
2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon vegan Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon of tomato paste or 2 Tablespoons catsup (optional)
2 Cups Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds
slices of bread, toasted and with crusts trimmed
tomato soup to serve on the side (optional)
pickled red onions to serve on top (optional)

In a small double boiler over medium low heat, mix beer, mustard, cayenne, vegan Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste or catsup.
Add Daiya vegan cheese and stir constantly to make a smooth sauce.  You will find that you need to stir often and it takes at least 10-15 minutes to get the cheese sauce really smooth.
Toast your bread, remove crusts, and slice on the diagonal to make triangles.
Arrange toast points on plates and pour cheese sauce over bread.
If tomatoes are in season, you can grill them and add to the plate, or chop them and sprinkle over the rarebit.
Very nice to serve with tomato soup on the side.

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